De-silting at the dam

As you know, the monsoon rains were a dismal failure last year.

Kamarajar Lake is used as drinking water for our local town of Dindigul and so the level is falling rapidly as more and more water is pumped out. This always happens during the summer, but this year the levels are exceptionally low.

The local government has ordered that all reservoirs should be de-silted, and work began here on 10th May. The photos were all taken on 16th and show just what a serious situation we face – and the levels are even lower than that now!

The south west monsoon should be with us soon, and we hope that that will bring some respite. Forecasts are that the rains should hit the coast of Kerala on or around 3rd June. The western ghats should get some good rain although we will get much less as we are in their shadow – but we do take some of the river water which flows in this direction from the hills so we are hoping to see a rise in the levels for a time. Of course, the water level will still continue to fall as water goes to Dindigul and it won’t be until November or December that the lake is full again. Let us hope that the monsoon doesn’t let us down this time.

Kamaraj Dam Athoor

This shows just how much silt has built up over the last 50 years.  It will take a lot of work to get back to original levels. (Dam and overflow on the left, lake on the right!)

De-silting Athoor lake

Photo taken on the lake bed.

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Looking towards the dam.

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When the lake is full the tree roots are under water.

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There is probably 10 feet or more of silt here.

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Wild butterfly garden

This is a great time of year to see butterflies at Lakeside.

After a short summer shower the butterflies emerge and can be seen in their thousands – clouds of them filling the air. There may be clouds made up of just one species, or a mixture of species. Blue, yellow, red, violet, black, white, orange – the colours are as endless as the butterflies themselves.

They range in size from little lime green ones no bigger than the nail on my little finger to huge blue and black ones the size of my hand. It is breath-taking to walk into what appears to be a field of tiny violet flowers which suddenly take to wing all around you.

Nothing says ‘summer at Lakeside’ to me more clearly than the butterflies.

Butterfly at Lakeside, south India

A CNN Hero from Madurai

I first came to India through my connection with the Joe Homan charity.  Many westerners, particularly in todays economic climate, say that we should no longer be sending money to India which is now becoming a wealthy country; it is up to the Indians themselves to care for their own poor.

Many people believe that Indians do nothing charitable.  It is true that in the past few gave to those whose ‘karma’ it was to be poor, but the younger generations of emerging India have an emerging social conscience, they are just not in a position yet to do everything for themselves.

Please take a look at this video to see what one person has done in our local city of Madurai (winner of CNN Top 10 Heroes 2010).  People like this need our continued support until India can stand on her own two feet.

Find out more about Narayanan Krishnan here

Narayanan Krishnan